Islabikes – are they really worth the money?

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  • Islabikes – are they really worth the money?
  • Premier Icon smogmonster
    Subscriber

    Im looking to get my 5 year old daughter a new bike, the Beinn 20Small for Chrimbo, but i need convincing that they are worth the money. At £320 inc mudguards it is a lot of moolah..so if your kids have one or have had one in the past did you feel it was worth the extra money?

    trb
    Member

    Here you go, Last weeks thread on that exact subject

    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/am-i-an-idot-spending-for-an-isla-bike

    But to summarise. Yes they are.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Some quotes from my favourite thread on this subject:

    hora – Member
    Decathlon- £29. I built it and it is good quality. I really really don’t understand why anyone would pay £100 for a first bicycle, its chattering-classes madness

    hora – Member
    Sorry I think the Decathlon bike is well made. I don’t buy into the milking the chattering classes ethos.

    hora – Member
    I don’t beleive in expensive toys for kids. his Dad has expensive toys

    hora – Member
    Ok Im man enough to admit that I was wrong. You get what you pay for and the Decathlon bike is junk.

    The collar holding the bars constantly loosens so the bars are always off centre. Nice safety issue there, one refund and and Isla please.

    😀

    Basically yes they are lovely – though I’m not sure I’d buy one from new myself. I’m very much in favour of other suckers taking the factory-fresh hit for kids stuff – give me a shout when it is on Classifieds in 3 years 😀

    Premier Icon TomB
    Subscriber

    I’m in the same position. A 2010 Beinn20 small I was watching in ebay just sold for £230, and I’ll get 2 kids use out of one, so I think we’re going to go new. We’ve already had a Rothan and a Cnoc14, and looking at competitors to the Beinn 20, you pay nearly as much (£250ish) for a cube or specialized which are 2kg heavier.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    Given my 7 year old nephew’s hard tail weighs more than my FS (and his forks may as well be rigid for all they move + I’d rather watch x-factor than try and adjust the cheap disc brakes on it) then yeah I’d say an Islabike is worth it if the kid is going to be using it a lot and as has been said elsewhere the resale value is good so TCO isn’t as far off supermarket bikes as the purchase price may have you believe

    Premier Icon bounce
    Subscriber

    Islabikes way too expensive secondhand — our girl’s Spesh Hot Rock 20″ – £105 for an immaculate secondhand one off Gumtree.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Islabikes way too expensive secondhand

    But you’ll probably get back exactly what you pay when you sell it on as “secondhand” once you’re done with it.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    ^ This. We bought a Beinn 26 from here for £150, and eldest OAB has ridden the socks off it, and I have been asked a few times if/when I sell can I call people…

    Mbnut
    Member

    Bought at great expense, £600, new for my lad 3 years ago… weighs 26lbs which was great and somewhat less that the hardrocks he’d be on since he was 4 years old. He has ridden Welsh and Scottish trail centres on it and lots of great days out… his riding has come on a treat and we have fantastic memories connected to riding… sold it for £400 a month ago so very happy with that… went a bit over budget on the replacement but hey…

    Whether it is a kids bike or an adults a good bike is one that gets ridden and enjoyed… an expensive one sits in the garage doing nowt.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    If you can afford the outlay then the quality and residual values make it a fairly shrewd buy > £325 new and get 4/5 years and two sprogs use out of it and then sell if for £200 if they keep it nice is only £65 per sprog!

    If cash is not so fluid then if you go for a Trek, Giant, Ridgeback or Dawes then you can buy excellent quality secondhand that is 90% as good as an Islabike for 20% of the cost. And you should be able to sell if for near as what you paid for it as they don’t get much cheaper if they are still working ok.

    Kendal
    Member

    Was out with my lads on Saturday, (one on a beinn 24 and one on a 20 small,) riding lumps and bumps. The 24 knocks the spots of the Spec’ Hardrock(?) 24 that his mate was on – cost the same money new.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    Definitely.

    Top tip: also get a spare inner-tube and mech-hanger too.

    julianwilson
    Member

    My wife and I spend so much on our own bikes that £300 for a whole brand new bicycle seems ok. Resale value is also a big factor: if i spent £300 on an adult sized bike, or just say a suspension fork, how much of it do you think I’d get back after a couple of years? Next size up islabike for our 6 year old already looks like much more of a bargain now we are aware of what we will be able to sell his current one for.

    That said, the hotrock is pretty good too, as are the trek kids bike with (apparently patented) extra holes in the cranks to make them shorter/longer, but I could take or leave the “suspension” forks they come with, and I wish someone would make trigger shifters for 6 speed as all the kids our children ride with seem to dislike their gripshift.

    FROGLEEK
    Member

    Had bought Islabikes – Rothan / Cnoc 14 for my little ones but considered the uphike in price on their Beinn 20 to be a step too far also combined with their charging of delivery / change of tyres etc; justified by lighter weight and blah blah.
    Went for a Spech Hotrock for my 6 year olds birthday instead, £200 in the sales, the bike is still lightweight compared to its peers 10kg, and rides great, sloping top tube and 40mm of travel make him feel like a proper mountain biker. Riding rooty, muddy local singletrack the tyres aren’t ideal so an easy swap out for an amazing first off road bike.
    The major plus with the Isla was that we sold his Cnoc 14 for £150 after two and a half years use 🙂

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    When my kid was 5, our friends moved into a new house. In the garden was a 20″ wheeled Raleigh bike. They gave it to us, I cleaned it up and gave it to my kid.
    He blimmin loved it. I’m sure it wasn’t as light as an Isla, but what would he have gained by me chucking £300 on a bike he would grow out of in 2 years max? I dunno!
    Here he is racin on it. See how he leaves those fancy Islabike tarts in his dust?

    [edit] I’ve still got it hanging in my garage if anyone wants it!

    Premier Icon stevemorg2
    Subscriber

    both my kids had Beinns which were excellent – good resale value and nice and light but when it came to 26inch wheel time I found better value with a couple of 14inch Konas – took the heavy fork and wheels off, sold them and used the proceeds to buy some s/h Marzocchi Marathons and lighter wheels

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    Definitely worth it, build quality and ease of use for your child are unmatched. We have three children – older daughter and twin boys, so one always gets passed down to another child. My daughter uses her bikes extensively, but still even after a couple of year’s hard use the bikes are in great condition with sensible cleaning and (But minimal) maintenance.

    As said earlier an expensive bike is one that is bought and never used… By that measure my daughters in particular are the cheapest bikes imaginable!

    I brought my nippers for £250 direct from Island then sold it 2 and a half years later for £290 on ebay. Says it all really.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    How did you manage that ian?

    The only other Islabike I’ve seen in that state was driven into a low bridge on a roof rack.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Says it all really.

    Yeah, there’s some right idiots using eBay! 😉

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Some quotes from my favourite thread on this subject:

    dunno about isla’s but the decathlon balance bikes are rubbish. TBF what I bought it for, running round front room/backyard, it seems OK but I wouldn’t take it anywhere near water, mud, rocks or anywhere they might pick up some speed on it. Kind of a (small) step up from this

    Premier Icon paul4stones
    Subscriber

    give me a shout when it is on Classifieds in 3 years

    What do you want Graham? I’ve got one just up the valley from you (Luath 26) 🙂

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    What do you want Graham?

    Nothing yet 😀 My lil’un is still on her Rothan at the mo (only 2.5yo)

    But I’m very happy with it and she’ll be graduating up the Islabikes range, unless some serious competitors arrive in the market.

    Premier Icon luffy105
    Subscriber

    Have to concur with most parents on here. Yes they’re expensive but I think they are worth every penny!

    I have 5yr old twin boys and both have the cnoc and they love them. The braking and handling have really inspired confidence (once they stopped going over the handlebars every time they threw the anchors on)and they love going out on their bikes.

    Both of them did 7 miles on their bikes yesterday which I don’t think is bad for their age and we’re off to Dalby on them on Sunday to do the green trail.

    Couple that in with the fact we’re not going to lose much on them when it comes to resale (both of them have been reserved by friends with younger kids) then I think they’re pretty good value for money really.

    ianv
    Member

    How did you manage that ian?
    The only other Islabike I’ve seen in that state was driven into a low bridge on a roof

    6 yr old messing around on his bike, nothing ott.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    WTF? Manufacturing fault you think?
    No way it should fail like that from normal use. Did you contact them?

    tomc
    Member

    Agree with most of the replies here. My 5 yr old daughter as a Beinn and its been excellent. The major plus, which is perhaps more important for girls than boys, is the low weight, which has allowed her to gain confidence, improve handling, and not cry when the bike lands on top of her.

    Premier Icon Simon E
    Subscriber

    You get what you pay for. With an Islabike you get it in spades.

    Anyone who thinks they’re too expensive should try being 6 or 7 and riding one of those very heavy scaffold pipe jobs with so-called suspension, crap brakes, too-big brake levers, dead-feeling wheels and tyres, 24 gears etc. I bought a Raleigh Krush 20″ for my daughter as a stop-gap before her brother grew out of his Beinn and it was shit. My kids have loved and looked after their Islabikes, each time we’ve sold one we have barely lost anything on it and the customer service is second to none.

    It surprises me that people who are happy to spend a good wodge on their cars, bikes, computer games, phones etc yet grudge paying a realistic price for a bicycle simply because it’s smaller. Designing and building wheels, frames and components properly costs money whether it’s adult or child sized.

    messiah
    Member

    Santa arrived early.

    All I had to do was pop one wheel and the pedals on… and the threads were already greased 8)

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I’ve not taken a picture (in case Ms North finds it on my phone), but one of these arrived yesterday.

    randomjeremy
    Member

    Bought a CNOC14 for my nephew for Christmas. I’m sure his mother would go spare if she knew how much it cost but I can’t wait to see him bombing about on it!

    b r
    Member

    Good man RJ.

    The simple truth is that a decent kids bike pretty much costs the same as a decent adult bike, and based on how often folk on here seem to swap theirs, they probably last longer 🙂

    My son graduated from a heavy 20″ Raleigh thru a 24″ Trek (which is currently been borrowed by a riding buddy for his daughter) to a 24″ Norco and now a 26″ HT.

    The Trek is getting on for 6 years old, and has loads of life left in it.

    Messiah good choice.

    Santa should be delivering the same to me today (Well MMjnr). God knows where I’m going to hide it! 😀

    MM

    Premier Icon cb
    Subscriber

    I ‘could’ have a Rothan for sale toinght – seems like I’ve been let down by the guy who wanted it earlier this week. Anybody interested can look at my for sale ad and drop me a line.

    S l o w l y getting our 2 year old onto her Rothan.

    Seemed only fair that she got a new one as Mummy and Daddy buy new bikes occasionally… 🙂

    The more I see her “riding” the bike the more I realise how damn well designed it is. She likes the fact its shiny purple – no evidence but I do think the fact that its new does make it more attractive, and hence more likely to use it (which is the point really, bikes being important to us as a family..)

    2p worth ends

    TM

    globalti
    Member

    We paid £240 for Gti Junior’s Bheinn and got about 4 years of use out of it. We have just sold it in excellent working order to a family with four young kids for £200. Each of their kids will get more enjoyment and then I expect they will sell it on.

    What Junior liked about it was the ride; it was fantastically easy to ride and control on or off road.

    iain65
    Member

    We’ve had 2 now and the ‘cost to own’ is very good due to the high resale value. They really are good, simple bikes that are well suited to kids.

    Note, ‘proud dad moment coming up’ – my youngest even got his pic on the front of the Islabike Gallery (Fraser) the other month, he was well chuffed with that!

    http://www.islabikes.co.uk/gallery/gallery.html

    Definately recommended.

    hora
    Member

    Some quotes from my favourite thread on this subject:

    Thanks for incorrectly quoting me.

    Hora Jnr test rode a STRIDER and a Isla- he FLEW on a Strider. Hence we bought it.

    Its a question of how comfortable/fit etc first then resale value. To STW’ers it seems to be resale value first….

    What will his secondbike be? Don’t know but it’ll live outside the house as I don’t want a kids bike cluttering the hallway etc.

    Miffy
    Member

    My six year old has had an isla bike since he was 3.
    Starting with Cnoc 14 and now the benin 20″
    Both bought from new, with the Cnoc sold at £20 under retail price.

    They are worth it, if you are going to go out on rides with you LO. If they stay in the garage all year round waiting for a nice day, then yes they are expensive.
    For us the Pound per play ratio makes the Isla bike one of the best value ‘toys’ we have bought.

    Interesting when he has ridden his mates ‘supermarket’ bikes he has struggled on some of them, due to weight, or set up. he also pointed out that ones brakes was broken as he couldn’t cover it or ‘feather it’ like he could on his bike.
    Also another mate who was not getting on riding his halfords bike, just couldn’t peddle it, tried the Isal bike and lo and behold he was up and ridng round the garden in about 5 minutes.

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